How did I get my skis in that position and I didn’t know my legs could do that

I’ve written before about my travel adventures and how, just maybe, I’m not the most fun travel companion you’ll ever come across. For example there’s Neckties, Nausea and Nudists and Karma’s a Bitch, Man.

Ski Bunny

Ski Bunny

Last week, Husband and I traveled to the mountains of Colorado for a free ski trip, provided by our daughter, Alison.  Although I’ve only taken one lesson and that was fifteen years ago, I had it it my head that I’d look something like this.

Okay, maybe I didn’t have a matching ski suit like the woman in this picture, but I did manage to pull together something.  A pair of  pants that my husband had outgrown and a jacket that was a hand-me-down from my friend, Mary.

So, instead of looking like a Ski Bunny, I ended up looking like a Ski Lump.

Ski Lump

Ski Lump

But, I was fairly warm and courageously optimistic that things were going to go as planned.

We took the gondola to the top of the mountain. Husband waited with five-year-old granddaughter to begin our swooshing down the slopes, as soon as I’d finished a few practice turns.

Because I’m not a complete idiot, I started out on the bunny slope, along with Alison and our three-year-old grandson. Four trips down the slight decline and up the magic carpet with the other toddlers, and I was ready for my first run.

Husband and five-year-old took off. I studied them as they glided gracefully one direction, then slid into a turn and coasted the other way.

I gave a push with my poles and, full-speed-ahead, skidded out of control — straight for a snow cliff. Everything I knew about stopping, flew right out of my head. I tried helicoptering my arms in backward circles but, oddly, that didn’t work. So, I did what I know best. I fell down.  Not in a graceful way, mind you. But, in a, “how did you get your skis in that position/I didn’t know your legs could do that” kind of way.  A nice snowboarder stopped and released the skis from my boots so I could untie my legs.

Not to worry. I’m a trooper. I got up and tried again.  And again. When I asked five-year-old how she thought her Mimi was doing, she only frowned and shook her head.

Somewhere along the way, as I crept down the slope in snowplow position, the world began to spin around me, my clothing felt too tight for me to breathe and I was pretty sure I was going to throw up.  I paused at a tiny flat area and told Husband I thought it was time for me to give up.

Here’s the thing about skiing. You can’t just quit in the middle. There’s no way to get off the mountain, except to ski down.

Talking with the ski patrol, we came up with a plan. I’d have to make one more short run toward a ski lift. The open air lift would take us up the mountain, so that we could catch the enclosed gondola, that would take us to the bottom of the mountain.

“Short run” was all I needed to hear. I bent my knees, tucked myself into race position and skied straight down the slope. I then stumbled onto the ski lift where five-year-old suggested to Husband that he  might want to put the safety bar down in case Mimi fell off.

The higher we went, the more the world spun around me and the harder it was to breathe.  I gritted my teeth and made it to the gondola, then managed to make it to ground level without spilling my guts. I struggled the hundred yards from the gondola to the condo and spread out on the bathroom floor.

Twenty minutes later, Husband came in and looked down at me. “Do you think I should take you to the emergency room?”

[Darth Vader Voice] – “Yeeessssss.”

I returned from the emergency room, not with a sexy issue, like a broken leg that would enable me to sit around the fire pit telling and retelling the story about my wild run down a black diamond slope…Ski broken leg

but, with Acute Altitude Sickness.

ski oxygen mask

It required that I walk around with a plastic tube stuck up my nose and toting around a green metal canister on wheels.

I couldn’t even approach the broken leg people to share my story at the fire pit, for fear I’d blow them all up.


15 thoughts on “How did I get my skis in that position and I didn’t know my legs could do that

  1. danezeller


    Once again, you have traipsed off to adventure without my advice. Zeller rule #126: Never put anything on your feet that is longer than your body, especially in the proximity of gravity.

    If you won’t seek out my knowledge, please, please, listen to nurse Kerry.

    1. CrazieTown Post author

      That is great advice. I’m starting to wonder if, never being very athletic, I just assume these crazy ideas (like strapping two pieces of wood to my feet and hurtling down a mountain) are something everyone does. Of course, “they” don’t understand who the mayor of Crazie Town really is.

  2. CrazieTown Post author

    30 years ago? Sounds like you remember it, like it was yesterday. The one year I had a lesson, I enjoyed it very much. At least until I crashed face first so hard, I broke my goggles.

  3. sallyjadlow

    Ohhhh! I can identify with you! I went with the Camp Fire Girls once. A fine mist froze the mountain into a slick slab. I swore if I made it off that *%# mountain alive I’d never go near another snow ski. The ice coated the highway. It took us until well after 2:30 in the morning to get our bus back from that horrible place in Iowa! That was 30 years ago, and I’m still clinging to my vow!

  4. Kerry

    Only a masochist thinks traveling to outrageously high elevations and flinging yourself down an icy mountain is sport. I much prefer the challenge of downing as many drinks as possible while waiting for my hubby in an airport bar in sunny Florida. Stick with me honey and I’ll show you how a vacation is done!

  5. jjaneswift

    Oh, do I envy your wacky way with words and ability to create laughter! I shall definitely drop by your blog again. But never, ever, eternally ever do I want to be in your run way on the snow. I hope you do enjoy looking at it, though! Big smiles to you.

    1. CrazieTown Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Jane. Hmmm. Good idea about staying out of my way. Maybe next time I’ll wear one of those hats with the flashing light on top.

  6. Peggy

    Teresa, I thoroughly enjoy your “Crazie” life! It’s getting better all the time!! Thanks for “hanging in there” and continuously regaling your fans!

  7. Janet Sunderland

    You have the most amazing gift of comedy! That last line was perfect. I’m jealous. Not, however, of the skiing. I did that once. Took me an hour to shimmy belly first off the bed the next morning. Never put on another pair.

    1. CrazieTown Post author

      Thanks for the compliment, Janet. After falling behind the five-year-old, I’m determined to give it one last try. Besides, I’ll need another blog post by then!


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